Sleeping Dogs, the phoenix that rose from the ashes of True Crime: Hong Kong, was a GTA-style open world game that received high praise upon release. It never received a proper sequel, however, with developers United Front Games creating the much forgotten about Triad Warsfollowing its predecessor’s success. Waypoint, Vice’s new gaming website, was provided documentation by unnamed sources that details a lot of UFG’s plans for the true sequel, as well as elaborating on exactly what went wrong with Sleeping Dogs 2. Below are the key bullet points from the reveal.
- Overall tweaks to combat and the open world, set in the very real location of Pearl River Megacity.
- The game would have featured two playable characters, Wei Shen from the first game and his new, corrupt partner Henry Fang.
- The player could arrest an NPC they wanted.
- A companion app for players’ smartphones would have allowed them to control the Police Department at large, affecting what happened in the main game. It was also designed to be a standalone app that would influence people to pick up Sleeping Dogs 2.
- The team had a new mechanic they dubbed “massively single player” which had the choices of one gamer affecting the world of another’s. This would be achieved through players’ cloud saves, and then mapping the collected data to everyone’s game.
- The game would have had drop in/drop out co-op similar to the recent Watch Dogs 2 (although that is suffering from its own issues at the moment). It would have created procedurally generated co-op missions dependent on the gamer’s current progress in the world.
- The procedurally generated missions were designed to change and adapt whilst the gamers were attempting them in order to keep missions from feeling stale and repetitive.
- This would also extend to the single player experience, with mission opportunities dynamically responding to the players’ standing with the numerous factions in the game.
All of these features would have amounted to a pretty unique take on open world gaming. That’s if they had been pulled off correctly, something a lot of games seem to be missing the mark on these days. However, the project wasn’t very far along, with very little more than these planning documents being created. Tomb Raider and Hitman became the priority for Square Enix. Mixed with the fact that the original Sleeping Dogs went through development hell and a lot of the creators were unwilling to undergo such an agonizing experience again, everything was stacked against United Front Games.
Square Enix decided to repackage some of these ideas into the free-to-play multiplayer Triad Wars, a game that was shut down almost as fast as it was set up. With the unfortunate closure of United Front Games, the future of Sleeping Dogs is unclear, although Waypoint’s source believes Square Enix might hand it over to Crystal Dynamics; the team behind the critically lauded Tomb Raider reboot. Time will tell if this theory becomes a reality.